News

Current Legislation

The 2019-2021 Wisconsin State Legislative Session brings some anticipated and many unanticipated legislative policy opportunities to our attention.  The SWSA tracks this legislation (from Joint Finance, the Assembly, the Senate, and occasionally rules from the Department of Public Instruction).

SWSA members have access to a google sheet that is used to track current legislation, detail on the proposed policy, the SWSA position, key talking points, and advocacy steps for SWSA members to take.  The Executive Director and Legislative Liaison update this document to keep this information current.

Recent Wins & What We've Done

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Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Evers Meets with the SWSA 10-25-2018

On October 25, 2018,  gubernatorial candidate Dr. Evers met with the SWSA.   Dr. Evers was extremely gracious and acknowledged the importance of the input our team (the SWSA) provides to inform his education agenda. He looks to the SWSA organization as a key stakeholder to provide input and form good education policy for the state of Wisconsin.

Dr. Evers provided some personal background as well as why he believes he will make a good governor for Wisconsin.  He shared his desire to work across the aisle to benefit all children in Wisconsin.  Dr. Evers spoke of examining many areas in the state budget to find sources of funding to support his education proposal.  We discussed the need to continue to work together to improve the teacher pipeline and to continue working to build up the education profession with quality teachers.
Click on the link below to access pictures from this meeting.

 

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School Boards across Wisconsin Passing Resolutions to Increase Special Education Reimbursement Rate to 90%

School boards across the state are passing resolutions to increase the reimbursement rate to 90% for special needs students, matching the reimbursement rate given to private schools under the legislated Special Needs Scholarship Program.

The federal government has stated a commitment to fund 40% of the costs of supporting students with special needs, but funds only 15%.  In addition, Wisconsin had statutory language to fund over 60% of costs related to these students, but now funds merely 26%.    The state of Wisconsin has not increased funding in public school special education categorical aid for over a decade.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau concluded that because of historic under funding of the state and federal government, public school districts must now fund over $1 billion to cover the educational costs associated with implementing Individualized Education Programs for students with special needs. As a result of under funding these critical services for students with special needs, public schools districts across Wisconsin transfer funds from their general fund to make up the gap.

SWSA is collecting resolutions from all over the state (including many in our own membership) and storing them in a google drive.  Click on the link to see who has passed these resolutions and please feel free to use the resolution language for your district.

Special Education Reimbursement Rate Increase Resolutions

Please click on the link below to view a map that can inform you as to the positive fiscal impact of this increase on your own district.

Statewide Map to inform districts on 90% Impact

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SWSA Member appointed to Legislative Council Study Committee

Dr. Michael Weber, Superintendent of the Port Washington-Saukville School District was recently appointed to the Legislative Council Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia.  Ramie Zelenkova, the SWSA Legislative Liaison, worked with Dr. Weber to ensure that the proper steps were taken to submit his application and resume.  The first committee meeting will be held on Monday July 9, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.  We will be tracking the work from this committee (and I suspect it should be airing on Wisconsin Eye).  If you have any comments/questions that you feel is important for the committee, please contact Dr. Weber directly.

Other News

  • Congratulations to Larry Dux, Board Member from the Pewaukee School District on his election to the Co-Chair Elect position for SWSA!  Larry is a long-time member of SWSA and is a veteran on the Pewaukee School Board.  He is actively involved in the WASB (Wisconsin Association of School Boards) and serves as a peer mentor to new board members.  SWSA is thrilled to have Larry join the leadership team!